A look at gun safety after stray bullet hits 8-year-old in Garden Valley

“Every year we have a couple of people that are hit by accidental discharges,” said Boise County Sheriff’s Cpl. David Gomez.

GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho — The man charged with accidentally discharging his gun, after an 8-year-old boy in Boise County was struck by a stray bullet, is now expected in court later this month. 

The boy, named LJ, was lying in his bed Friday night, according to his dad, when a bullet from a neighbor’s gun shot through the window, a wall, and a pillow before striking the boy in his hand, face and neck. LJ is now back home and recovering. 

Prosecutors charged 41-year-old Brandon L. Nelson with injuring another by careless handling and discharge of firearms.

The incident prompted the question, how common are accidental discharges like this? 

RELATED: 8-year-old hit by stray bullet in Garden Valley: ‘He won’t be the same’

“I think every year we have a couple of accidental discharges and every year we have a couple of people that are hit by accidental discharges,” said Boise County Sheriff’s Cpl. David Gomez. “So, you want to put in as many safety mechanisms as you can. Number one, always pretend like [the gun is] loaded. Number two, keep it pointed in a safe direction always. And number three, keep it secured so that you know who’s controlling that gun.”

He added that, just like driving, it’s not good to be under the influence when operating a car and it’s not good to be under the influence and handling a gun as well because it greatly affects decision-making.

In this particular case, the parents of the 8-year-old told KTVB, Nelson was drunk when he discharged the gun Friday night. Nelson is neighbors with LJ’s dad. However, investigators have not yet released if the 41-year-old was under the influence at the time. 

KTVB has also learned the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or ATF are aware of what happened in Garden Valley. 

Nelson is scheduled to be in court on Oct. 19.

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Garden City officials hold a meeting to discuss gun violence and possible solutions



a group of people in a room


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Officials of Garden City held a meeting to discuss gun violence and possible solutions. In the past year,  officials said they’ve had 27 shootings and five deaths. 

They want to get this under control.  

“To ensure a safe community in which we can live in, to ensure a safe community our children can play in, and a community in which our elders can feel safe in,” said Reverend Monroe. 

Officials said they want to go to when they didn’t worry about crime in Garden City and people didn’t feel scared. 

“They’re concerned because young kids are losing their lives. They’re scared because bullets are flying,” said Councilwoman Natalyn Morris. 

Reverend Monroe presented “Operation Protect” to the council today. This includes a 10 point plan on how to address crime. He gave ideas such as installing more home security cameras, gated communities and having more officers on duty. 

Councilwoman Marsha Daniels urged those in the crowd to tell council if they see something. If they don’t want to tell them, call Crime Stoppers. 

They said one shooting is one too many and they want to take action immediately. 

Chief Ballard of the Garden City Police Dept. said they’re beginning to install cameras throughout the city and they want to grow this quickly so they can put a dent in criminal activity.

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Great-uncle charged after 3-year-old finds loaded gun in kitchen drawer, shoots himself in Florida

A negligent gun owner was arrested in Florida over the weekend after his 3-year-old great-nephew found a loaded firearm inside a kitchen drawer and shot himself, authorities said.



a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: James Romano


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James Romano

The boy, who’s expected to survive, apparently climbed onto the counter, opened an unlocked drawer and pulled the trigger, shooting himself in the hand and thigh, police said in an arrest report obtained by local news outlets.

His great-uncle, 61-year-old James Romano, admitted to smoking two marijuana cigarettes before the child was dropped off at the home Sunday in Juniper Inlet Colony, according to The Palm Beach Post. He also told police that he forgot he had left the 9-mm. semi-automatic handgun in the kitchen drawer that day.

The West Virginia resident was charged with culpable negligence and unsafe storage of a firearm. He was arrested Sunday night and released Monday after posting $1,000 bond, jail records show.

The boy was at least the second U.S. child to shoot himself with an unsecured firearm in recent days.

A toddler in North Carolina died from a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” last week during an incident that is still under investigation. The 2-year-old was home with two adults and a teenager when the shooting happened.

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Uncle arrested after 3-year-old shot himself with gun left in kitchen drawer

Jupiter Inlet Colony Police arrested James Romano Sunday afternoon after they said he confessed to leaving his loaded 9 mm pistol in a kitchen drawer, where his 3-year-old great-nephew found it and shot himself.Police responded to a home in the 100 block of Lighthouse Drive around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.Police said the bullet struck the child’s hand and entered and exited his thigh. He was rushed to the hospital where he was said to be stable, with non-life threatening injuries.”Thank the Lord he’s going to be OK – he’s in stable condition, it didn’t hit any major arteries so that was the great news,” said police Chief John Pruitt.According to the police report, Romano’s sister was babysitting her grandson that afternoon when he climbed on the kitchen counter and opened the drawer.Police said Romano told them he had put the gun there the day before and forgotten about it. He also allegedly told police he had smoked marijuana hours before the boy came over.”This is a prime example we preach about it all the time — about securing firearms, keeping them in a safe or storing the firearm and the ammunition separately unloaded, or tragedies can happen, fortunately this was not a tragedy,” said Pruitt.Pruitt said Romano, who lists an address in West Virginia and was visiting his sister to help her move, was remorseful and cooperative. He faces charges of culpable negligence and unsafe storage of a firearm.

Jupiter Inlet Colony Police arrested James Romano Sunday afternoon after they said he confessed to leaving his loaded 9 mm pistol in a kitchen drawer, where his 3-year-old great-nephew found it and shot himself.

Police responded to a home in the 100 block of Lighthouse Drive around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Police said the bullet struck the child’s hand and entered and exited his thigh. He was rushed to the hospital where he was said to be stable, with non-life threatening injuries.

“Thank the Lord he’s going to be OK – he’s in stable condition, it didn’t hit any major arteries so that was the great news,” said police Chief John Pruitt.

According to the police report, Romano’s sister was babysitting her grandson that afternoon when he climbed on the kitchen counter and opened the drawer.

Police said Romano told them he had put the gun there the day before and forgotten about it. He also allegedly told police he had smoked marijuana hours before the boy came over.

“This is a prime example we preach about it all the time — about securing firearms, keeping them in a safe or storing the firearm and the ammunition separately unloaded, or tragedies can happen, fortunately this was not a tragedy,” said Pruitt.

Pruitt said Romano, who lists an address in West Virginia and was visiting his sister to help her move, was remorseful and cooperative. He faces charges of culpable negligence and unsafe storage of a firearm.

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Campus Notebook: Unattended gun in Capitol bathroom need not concern the public, Capitol Police argued

“Plaintiff’s disclosure to the CQ Roll Call reporter also did not address a matter of public concern because it could not be ‘fairly considered as relating to any matter of political, social, or other concern to the community,’” Scindian wrote. Scindian also argued Breiterman was not protected by the First Amendment because she spoke to the reporter in her official capacity.

Scindian said the photo — of an unattended firearm in a public building with some of the most integral individuals in the nation’s government — was not something the public need be concerned about. She argued, in part, that because the gun was found in a restricted area within the Capitol complex, the incident should be kept within the department and concealed from public consumption.

“The information Plaintiff provided to the reporter concerned an internal Department matter that did not implicate public interest,” Scindian wrote. “The gun that was discovered in a CVC bathroom on January 29, 2015 was located in a restricted area of the facility. Only authorized personnel would have access to that area. The gun was quickly recovered by USCP officials and its owner was identified in short order.”

Roy Gutterman, a Syracuse University professor who specializes in First Amendment law, disagrees with the department’s contention.

“I can’t imagine a clearer case of a matter of public interest than finding a gun in a Capitol Hill bathroom, whether it’s a visitors center or a secured hallway,” Gutterman said. “You can’t get any clearer than that as far as a matter of public interest.”

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